‘Curfew’ like situation in Kathmandu as Tibetan woman attempts self-immolation

Sonam Choedon (green shirt) trying to set herself on fire with kerosene.

DHARAMSHALA, November 3: Sonam Choedon, a Tibetan woman in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal doused herself in kerosene and attempted self immolation after Nepali police repeatedly curbed what was a largely peaceful demonstration by Tibetan refugees on Wednesday.

Sonam Choedon tried to set herself on fire after Nepali officials arbitrarily arrested over 60 Tibetans and disrupted peaceful Tibetan activities in the capital, organised by the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro-independence group in exile, in solidarity with the recent spate of self immolations in Tibet.

Heavily armed police forces are reportedly keeping a strict vigil on the movements of Tibetans in the city.

"Since Monday, hundreds of Nepalese Armed Police Force have been policing Tibetan areas in Kathmandu, making it difficult for Tibetans to move in and out from their houses," said Jigme Dolma, a Tibetan living in Kathmandu.

Sonam Chodoen (42) is the same activist who earlier in April 2011, during a hunger strike, was humiliated by Nepali officials and forced to strip her T-shirts that bore the wordings, “Free Tibet” and “Stop the killings in Tibet.”

On day 2 of the Global Action campaign, aimed at mustering international support and solidarity with the self immolations of ten Tibetans since March this year, Tibetans gathered at the Tibetan camp in Jawalakhel and launched a blood letter drive.

Appeal letters addressed to all the G 20 leaders, urging international intervention in the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet was written in blood.

According to reports, Nepali police have been conducting individual house searches, arresting Tibetans. Tibetan camps are reportedly experiencing “curfew-like” situation with phone lines of many politically active Tibetans being tapped.

Kalon Tripa Dr. Lobsang Sangay, had last month, on the sidelines of a meeting, expressed his wish to renew Tibet's historic relationship with Nepal.

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